Color Day 2013 Winners


Illustrations by Julia Rothman

It’s no secret that we’re color lovers. Give us a pop of hot pink or aqua on some neutral ground and we’re smitten. A little color goes a long way to brighten up a home and a lot of color… well, even better! We were only further convinced as we reviewed each of your incredible submissions for the Color Day 2013 Sherwin Williams Contest. We asked you to show us your best room transformation using paint and it’s clear that you guys are fearless and bold, open to seeing past the “before” and game to really dive into a project!

Without further ado, here are our winners:

1st place: Jamie Lyn Knollmiller


In prepping for the transformation from our home office into a nursery for our (then) soon to arrive baby girl, I knew I wanted to incorporate color, and shapes.  I scouted out some awesome decals but nothing was speaking to the colors I really wanted (turquoise, grey, yellow and a dash of pink!), and our room was just shy of a square, so I knew we needed custom dimensions. And I decided to take to painting!

First we painted over the RED walls (it was a total man cave office) then I measured, did some math & sketches of the layout & color placement. Next, I taped off the evenly spaced triangles. I used post its to mark the pattern of the colors, so I didn’t have to think once the paint was out (some were left with the original white wall color).  FYI – The darker grey used for the triangles is the same grey of the other 3 walls of the room- so it blends together well.  

Due to the adjacencies of the color blocks, I opted to wait a few days between rounds of painting. But overall it didn’t take very long, and the end result is such a fun, playful, cheery space!  Now our daughter loves to look at the triangles when she’s lying in her crib!

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2nd place: Sarah Reid 


We are fixing up my grandparent’s kit A-Frame that they started building in 1963. It’s in the woods of southern NH and we only get a few weeks in the summer to work on it (we live in Oakland, CA), so it’s slow going, but totally gratifying. It had stood untouched for 15 years when my dad and his sisters transferred ownership to us. 

I absolutely love paint and it’s transformative powers. I knew that painting all the natural wood in the A-Frame would be controversial, but I also knew that I desperately needed to lighten it up and make it a place I’d actually want to spend time in, so we went ahead and covered most of it in 4 coats of white. It’s unbelievable how much cleaner and lighter it looks and feels.

For the writing loft I decided to go with a deep peacock blue on the floor because I love strong colors in small spaces. I kept my grandmother’s woven mat, my grandfather’s writing chair, filled the nooks with books, and moved in a small farm table to act as our desk. 

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3rd place: Sadie Smith


When we moved into our new house last year we didn’t have the money to buy new furniture and accessories.  So we had to stick with paint to make things interesting, we painted our main wall “Iron Ore” by Sherwin Williams (the light gray walls are all North Star) to add a bold accent to the room.  We decided it still needed a little interest, so we painted scallops on the wall around our Lulie Wallace Painting in “Passionate Purple” also by Sherwin Williams. 

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Sarah Reid – where is that rug from? I’m looking for something very similar right now!


Sadie Smith – LOVE the dark walls and love your couch! Where did you find it? Thanks!

Natalia Osiatynska

Love all of these! And they’re a great mix, showcasing some very different things that can be accomplished with paint. Like those scallops, wow!

I like that Sarah addresses the controversy of painting a cabin’s natural interior—and I’m encouraged that her family went for it. (My parents’ Masovian cabin remains a dark cavern of yellowed knotty pine and I’m well into my fifth year of advocating several coats of white paint to brighten things up!)


Hey thanks Design Sponge and Sherwin Williams! Emily, the rug was picked up by my grandmother on one of her Peace Corps tours in Africa in the 70’s I’m afraid. In other words, I have no idea :)


The crib is from Kalon Studios, purchased from Bel Bambini in so cal!

Sadie Smith

Design Sponge, thanks for picking me as the third place winner, just wondering when the signed book will be sent out?